The potential price tag for Discovery Walk construction rose to $22 million on Monday.
The Rochester City Council approved a trio of changes to the project that will provide a four-block multipurpose public parkway along Second Avenue Southwest.
Starting at Second Street Southwest and stretching toward Soldiers Field Park, the Destination Medical Center project is designed to create a high amenity landscaped street that prioritizes pedestrian use to connect the Mayo Clinic downtown campus with current and future development to the south.
Monday’s council action included adding nearly $2 million in contingency funds to the project’s initial $16.8 million budget to address any potential unforeseen expenses.
“On every project, we use it to some degree,” Deputy City Administrator Aaron Parrish said of the contingency funds that the council requires in construction projects. “We just want to minimize it.”
Any funds left will be for future state-supported DMC efforts.
In addition to approving the contingency funds, the council also supported adding two aspects to the project -- a snowmelt system at $2.2 million and weather shelters at $1 million.
Final approval of the added items will be made after final bids for the work are received.
The state DMC Corp. board will also need to approve the added expenses before bids can be sought. The board is scheduled to hold a special meeting on March 25.
Patrick Seeb, executive director of the DMC Economic Development Agency, said he expects the board will continue to discuss the merits of the added amenities.
“Every time we spend money in one place, it means we don’t have money to spend someplace else,” he said.
Parrish said the funds that will be used to cover the added costs will be from state DMC funds that are currently unallocated.
The council also approved continued work aimed at creating a connection and improvements to Soldiers Field as part of the Discovery Walk project.
Plans call for contractors to be approved and ready to start construction this summer, with work expected to continue into the summer of 2023.